Potential El Niño storms require statewide, personal planning

Dec 10, 2015

The federal government wants you to check your risk for flooding as California is likely to be hit with a series of large rain storms this winter. 

Credit Flickr member: Patrick Berry

FEMA took part in a massive storm rehearsal this week with agencies throughout California testing what we can expect during the upcoming El Niño winter.

Mary Simms, External Affairs Officer with FEMA Region IX, said the agency is considering the state's large agricultural industry as part of its disaster plan. Flooding could be economically devastating to farmers, especially because of the drought's effects on the ground.

"Unfortunately, instead of seeing a beneficial absorption of the water, in often cases, the ground almost acts as though it's glass, or asphalt, and it's impermeable in a way where the water will hit it and then create dangerous flash flooding," said Simms.

Simms said Californians should take steps to see if they need flood insurance. She also said we all need a preparedness plan.

Family plans for dealing with a flood are similar to the plans you'd want to have in place for an earthquake or fire.